Pollution in Siang taking toll on ecosystem

Prafulla Kaman
PASIGHAT, Dec 12: Pollution in the Siang River has already started to take its toll on aquatic life and habitats, and water-dependent birds.
There has been a sharp decline in the fish stock in the river in East Siang and Jonai (Assam) area downstream ever since the river water got polluted. No migratory bird has been seen flocking to the water bodies of the Siang and adjoining Lali River this year, indicating great ecological imbalance.
In the previous years, avian guests, including the Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea) and the Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) used to start arriving at the water bodies of the Siang and its adjacent areas in mid-December.
According to Forest Department officials, a sharp increase in water turbidity has forced the winged visitors to change their destination.
“The wild ducks, which were found in huge numbers during this season, are now seen at other tributaries of the Brahmaputra. We are doing our level best to protect the winged guests from hunters,” said a forest official.
The fish population is also rapidly declining in the region. The fishermen, who used to earn their livelihood out of selling fish, are keeping their fingers crossed as fishing was their only source of income.